By Bria Isaacson, News Editor
Walking into Johnson, compared to last year, is now a much brighter moment, thanks to the renovations that Johnson got over this summer.
Johnson got repairs on cracked plaster walls, as well as drop ceilings in hallways with new LED lighting, paint in hallways and rooms, a hydration station in the lobby, new doors for each room and decals for each hall name, according to Johnson Resident Director (RD) Clark Kendall.
“The greatest benefit is the feel of the space as you enter,” Kendall said. “It is much brighter…. We had the east wing completed two summers ago and when you walked from East to Main last year it was like walking into the ‘Upside Down from the show Stranger Things. So now there is a comforting uniformity that the guys have appreciated.”
Johnson was not the only residence hall to receive some upgrades this summer. In fact, each of the residence halls was worked on.
Trustees received a Wi-Fi upgrade from three units a hall to anywhere from six to nine Wi-Fi units on a hall. Trustees, as well as Aldersgate, received roof repairs. Kresge Hall received new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, as well as more laundry machines.
Glide-Crawford (GC) received additional exercise equipment in their gym.
This gym equipment came from the Luce Physical Activities Center, as they received newer equipment and gave the older equipment to GC. This equipment includes seventeen weight machines, one elliptical machine, two treadmills, one bike, free weights, exercise balls and exercise posters. One more elliptical machine and one more bike will be added soon.
Joe Bruner, the associate dean for community life, has been working towards getting new equipment for GC’s gym for at least four years now.
“We’re trying to do better as a campus with health and wellness,” Bruner said. “We wanted a place where women don’t feel pressure [when working out].”
Already many women have taken advantage of this new convenient area. Freshman Sadie Searls said that she works three or four times a week in the gym.
“I’m really excited to work out here, because I love to work out and this is so convenient,” Searls said.
Searls is not the only woman excited to utilize the gym this semester.
GC RD Kaylyn Moran said, “It has already proven to be a space where women can exercise and experience community together. I love it.”
Although some of these resident hall improvements may seem small, Bruner said that each summer Asbury University spends hundreds of thousands of dollars improving the residence halls, and this summer is no different.
Bruner said that the money goes quickly and that they are forced to prioritize items needing improvement on a five to seven-year plan.
According to Bruner, Asbury puts much more money into the residence halls than other schools of the same size. In addition, he said that Asbury’s student housing costs are the second lowest in the state of Kentucky, even among public colleges and universities.
“We intentionally keep the cost of attendance down,” Bruner said. “We are trying to be good stewards of our money…and trying to balance seen and unseen improvements.”
Some of the improvements that students can expect this summer or next summer are upgraded Wi-Fi in Kresge and Aldersgate and new lighting, ceilings and repaired walls on GC’s third floor, which has crumbling plaster due to the summer humidity.
Repairing GC’s third floor was not on the list of priorities, according to Bruner, until a few weeks ago. It has now moved to number one priority for repairs during holidays and the next summer break.
“We will do the immediate work that’s necessary now, and we will start aggressive work in May,” Bruner said.
When work is done on the third floor, it will look similar to Johnson’s new lobby and hallways.
Junior Laney Race, resident assistant (RA) of GC’s third Crawford, said, “It’s good that they’re being attentive to the needs of students.”
Although this was not a renovation they counted on, the overall five to seven-year improvement plan remains more or less the same and includes upgrades such as new lighting in Kresge’s lobby, new card swipes on all exterior residence hall doors, lighting, ceiling and floor improvements similar to Johnson’s in all residence halls and renovated units, ideally upgraded one wing per year, in Kresge and Aldersgate.